Project Summary

The project aims to reduce the carbon emissions and the high running costs of the greenhouse sector by reducing its reliance on conventional fossil fuel energy resources.

A sustainable and energy efficient system is proposed employing various innovative technologies including heat insulation solar glass, vacuum insulation panels, windcatchers and LED lights in addition to an underground soil-based seasonal thermal energy storage system.


The smart greenhouse will be equipped with a fully automated control with internet connected monitoring and management.

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The Summary clearly shows that the project addresses the TSB Agri-Tech Catalyst call to “demonstrate the potential to advance sustainable intensification of agriculture and deliver economic impact for the UK Agri-Tech industry by tackling domestic or international challenges.”

  1. Production will be intensified by establishing full control over the key factors affecting plant productivity, notably light levels, temperature, carbon dioxide humidity and exclusion of pests/diseases, to optimise the nutrient content and the production rate of food in a specific facility. Dynamic control of the technologies will allow the system to be tuned to suit the differing needs of various crops.
  2. Year-round production will allow crops to be produced within the UK avoiding the “food –mile” carbon emissions associated with importing crops from warmer climates, especially during winter.
  3. Although initially intended for the UK, the system can be adopted for other climates where the balance of heating and cooling required is different.
  4. Despite the anticipated improvements in productivity the energy consumption, and thus carbon emissions, will be lower especially through the efficient and sustainable use of PV solar energy and seasonal heat/coolth storage.

The project will be underpinned by a large body of recent, peer reviewed, numerical and experimental work on the solar insulation glass units, vacuum insulation panels and soil-based underground thermal energy storage generated by the Built Environment Laboratories at the University of Nottingham, which has been published in journals and international conferences.